Lucile McCain McFarland

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lucile McCain McFarland

Lucile McCain McFarland passed away Saturday, June 3, in Knoxville, Tennessee with her family present.

She was born in Thorsby on October 26, 1921, daughter of Ara Butler McCain and Franklin Andrew McCain. Ara died of tuberculosis when Lucile was 6 years old. She was reared by her grandmother, Jimmie Ann Goodwin McCain, grandfather, James W. McCain, and her father, Frank. She had an older brother, Fred William McCain, deceased. A Congregational family they attended the church known now as the Helen Jenkins Chapel.

Lucile attended the very prestigious high school, Thorsby Institute, a boarding school. Lucile worked her way through school through the generosity of Miss Helen Jenkins, founder and principal, since it was quite expensive. After graduating with her diploma, which was equivalent to a junior college, she went to work, met Herman Edward (Mack) McFarland and they married soon after. They moved to Mobile, where both worked for Ingalls Shipbuilding as subcontractors for the Navy shipbuilding effort in 1942. Barbara, their only child was born and they followed the war effort to Pascagoula, Mississippi, and New Orleans. Many lifelong friends were made during this era.

Mack followed pipeline construction for many years with Mid Valley Pipeline. There were no apartments during those times so you rented some rooms in a home or occasionally a small house. She always made it OUR HOME. After a time, they returned to Thorsby where they lived in the old Jim Pate house. In time, they bought the old Congregational Parsonage on Michigan Avenue. Lucile and Mack loved the house as if it were a child. Lucile (Mimi) and Mack (Grandaddy) took their vacations to keep the grandchildren in Thorsby and many trips to Disney World, New Orleans and the beach.

Barbara married Jim Kincaid and they provided Lucile and Mack with a plethora of grandchildren, Tad (Harrison/Jessica/Hunter), Kerry (Kelsey), Trammel (Keegan/Maddie/Sophie), Tippi (Cameron/Peyton/Rook); great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.

During this time a relationship was reestablished with Mack’s sons from a previous marriage, Bob (Danny, Bob), Edward and Dan (Dawn and Reuel). They also provided more grandchildren – seven!

Lucile spent a great deal of her life working for medical doctors. We always joked that she thought she was a doctor. After Mack died and she retired, she kept the house up by herself until she was 95. She made frequent trips by herself to Knoxville to see grandchildren – a 620 mile round trip – until she was 90 and having severe macular degeneration.

She was the best Thorsby historian. Her memory was excellent and she could put events, families and who owned what store back when Thorsby was a vigorous little town. She still appears on Alabama PBS showing a kitchen interview with a young man who was doing a story on Old Highway 31.

She was the face of the Swedish Fest in the fall every year. She dressed in her Swedish style costume, did tours of old Swedish homes and had people standing in line to have their picture made with her in costume. If you slowed down, she would tell you a joke. If you did not slow down, she would call to you and then tell you a joke. During these years, she rode in parades and loved the fun of it all.

Lucile loved the spotlight! Sue Scarborough encouraged her to enter the Ms. Sr. Chilton County contest. She did and she won. Her talent was stand up comedy. She participated in many church and local gatherings as Ms. Sr. Chilton County.

She joined the Methodist Church after marriage to Mack. At the age of 91, she joined Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton. It was a union of love. She felt so loved and blessed in the church. Her faith grew all her years in this dynamic little church led by Bill King. The family appreciates so very much the many who picked her up and took her home when she could no longer drive.

After she could no longer drive, the wonderful people of Clanton, Thorsby and Jemison helped her bringing her prescriptions (Danny Hayes), changing light bulbs, planting, adjusting her TV, taking her places, and just checking on her (P.O., the Bensons, the Faliticos, Tom, Ben, Ken, Jean, Sue) just to name a few.

During these years she kept her family and half of Chilton County supplied with her sourdough bread and strawberry jam. She would even send it to Colorado to the grandchildren.

After her fall in August 2016, we are ever indebted to Sue Scarborough for her caring help with Lucile’s health and general welfare. Lucile moved to a lovely assisted living place (against her will) in Knoxville. Her health was deteriorating and she needed help with her activities. She had her dog with her, Poppy, and did her stand up comedy routine at their Friday afternoon cocktail party. One morning, after chair exercises, she had a stroke, fell and injured her back. Even with rehab, she could not get her old self back. She passed away with hospice and family that Saturday night, June 3.

There will be a memorial service and celebration at Martin Funeral Home on Saturday, Aug. 12. Visitation will be at 1 p.m. and the service will be at 2 p.m. There will be no graveside.

We hope each of her friends and neighbors will come celebrate this very remarkable and patriotic woman who had an impact on the history of Chilton County.